Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Health officials in Los Angeles County have confirmed the region's first death to the West Nile virus of the 2020 season.
In a statement Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said the patient, an elderly resident of South Los Angeles, was hospitalized and died from West Nile virus-associated neuro-invasive disease.
A total of five cases have been reported in Los Angeles County this year, the statement said.
"West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County," Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County health officer, said. "We encourage residents to check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or clear out those items."
Peak mosquito season in Los Angeles County lasts from June to November, Davis said, suggesting residents should protect themselves from disease by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products.
Health officials said West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes, chickens and dead birds have been identified across the county.
West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of Tuesday, 22 people have been infected with the West Nile virus this year with 29 states reporting infections in people, birds and mosquitoes, the CDC said.